Why I’ve been Pinterest-ing during lectures.
In our current society, we spend more time than ever before on social media. And even though social media has brought us many great things, it comes with quite some downsides. Even though I had always been aware of the mental health implications social media can have (the FOMO is real), I never truly realized how much social media can affect us negatively, until I found a book called “Digital Minimalism” (ironically enough, I found out about this book through social media).
Digital Minimalism is a lifestyle described as a more efficient way to live with technology and social media. Therefore, you do not completely ban social media and technology out of your life, but you just change your relationship with it so that you use it in the most effective way possible. This concept seemed really interesting to me, so I decided to read the book over the Christmas break.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a heavy social media user. I spend countless hours binging Netflix series, watching Youtube videos, scrolling through Instagram, etc. The main reason I started reading this book is that I found that the time that I spent looking up Astrology memes (yep, that’s a thing) and watching make-up tutorials (I don’t even wear make-up) could probably be spent a little better. While reading this book, I was confronted with something that I, deep down, already knew, but would never say out loud: I’m a huge social media addict.
Luckily, I have been addicted to countless of things before (to name a few: Nutella, Pokémon games, dairy products, playing the Sims, buying new houseplants…) and I have overcome almost all of them. So, I decided to embark on a mission to leave my social media addiction in 2019 and start 2020 as a digital minimalist. I decided to delete all the social media apps from my phone to live social media free for 30 days (it is now day 20). Afterwards, when I am hoping to be no longer addicted, I will re-evaluate what social media I value enough to take back in my life. Personally, I don’t think the make-up videos will make the cut.
Of course, I have already experienced some withdrawal symptoms in my first three weeks: I keep checking my phone, even though there is nothing on there; I check Facebook on my browser “just to see if there are any events”; and I started Pinterest-ing during lectures because I told myself “that doesn’t count as social media”...
Social media remains an important part in our society and I probably won’t be able to avoid it completely (especially as the Chairman of the Media Committee…), but I hope that this digital minimalist lifestyle will keep me away from hours of browsing the internet, and leave more time for the things that I love doing when I am not scrolling through my phone: going outside, reading, taking care of my houseplants, painting, listening to music… Maybe I will even, at some point, start paying attention at lectures. But until then, if you see me on Pinterest during any lecture, please pretend you didn’t see that.
(If you’re interested in reading the book, the full title is Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport)